Project Everest

Work Update

Dream Big and Dare to Fail

Edwina Jones
Edwina Jones | Jul 26, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

What a month we’ve had! We landed in country almost 4 weeks ago and hit the ground running. We picked up the project in the testing phase, the February team had created a prototype of a waste collection service in the rural villages of Siem Reap. There is currently no waste collection service in these areas and the villagers burn their waste which is harmful to their health.


In our first week we created our improved prototypes, rice bags with all the bells and whistles: colour coded, labelled illustrations in Khmer and our very own ERS logo! We got out into the community and delivered 54 bags to 18 households and shops, which was a 360% increase on what the last team had delivered. We aimed high and had to ensure we had the back-end logistics to ensure the success of our collection service.

The other half of the team researched in depth about potential purchasers of the waste we collect during this time. We had to exhaust stakeholder options outlined by previous teams and rebuild relationships with old contacts. This is where we ran into our first road block, we discovered that there were few long-term purchasers of our waste.


This didn’t hold us back for long, we thought of a solution and moved on. The idea of splitting the ERS business into two parts was created, one focused on the waste collection service and proving concept, the other half would ideate ways to repurpose or upcycle the waste collected. This would come into place in December and therefore we had to work to ensure that we had tangible evidence of a viable waste collection service, as well as having all the information exemplary for the new team/teams to come in and have the business fully operational.


We looked into the idea of partnering with the current waste collection service operating in metro Siem Reap, Global Action Environment Awareness (GAEA). This would allow us to dispose of the general waste we collect for a discounted price and we can offer them ideas on their recycling initiatives.


Another road block we encountered was that we are not yet registered as a business and therefore cannot charge for our service. This started the ball rolling in getting Project Everest to register as a business in Cambodia and all the teams here will operate under its umbrella. With that underway, again we had to focus on proving concept and the viability of the business. We managed to get 10 Expression of Interest forms signed by the villagers that had received our service. This is no easy feat as Cambodian culture dictates their distrust in signing anything legal.


Since this point we have proved the concept of our waste collection service in every aspect, from the logistics of running the service, proving the social need for the service, the collection and selling the waste for a total of $4 at a local recycling depot.


This month our minds have been full of ideas about how we can improve our business and the future, (see previous posts from Connor, Lucas, Chris and myself). As high of an opinion we have of these ideas, we know that some of these won’t be possible and they don’t entirely help us to grow our business exponentially. We envision a need for our service not just here in Siem Reap but in other parts of Cambodia and potentially the world that aren’t currently serviced by a waste collection service. We need to find a way to grow our business exponentially to achieve this. Does anyone have any ideas about how to achieve this?

 For those interested in the project and where it is headed check it out here

Venture on!


Eddie Jones

edited on 31st July 2017, 01:07 by Edwina Jones

Connor Moon Jul 27, 2017

Killed it team!

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Samantha Orum Jul 2, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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